Australia's Gold Coast is situated in subtropicalQueensland, just an hours drive from the state capital,Brisbane.
The Gold Coast is a fast-growing city of ahalf million people, drawn by the miles of perfect coastline, and a sun-drenchedlifestyle.
The central Gold Coast skyline looks likea gathering of giants wriggling their toes in the warm Pacific.
There's a natural spirit here, found in theincredible beaches, the ocean's shifting moods, and in the coolwaterfalls and deep forests of the hinterland.
But there's a human spirit too, dedicatedto family, vitality, and, having the time of your life! The Gold Coast got its start as a vacationretreat in the 1850s, near its northern end.
It's here, that theGold Coast still shines brightest.
Surfers Paradise, is a complete destinationin itself; a glittering resort, shopping and entertainmentstrip.
Head to the Sky-point Observation Deck tosee the Gold Coast's beaches unfurl in a 20-mile ribbon of sand, studdedwith headlands, parks and waterways.
Just to the south of Surfers Paradise is Broadbeach,where the pace begins to slow.
The further you move down the coast the morerelaxed the vibe.
Burleigh Heads, is home to a stunning nationalpark, and one Australia's legendary surf breaks.
It's easy to see why this headland has beenan Aboriginal gathering place for thousands of years.
A little further south is Currumbin, a placewhere the bush meets the beach.
Hit the waves between Elephant and CurrumbinRocks, or just go for a float in the sparkling serenity of the estuary.
Follow the shoreline south to the Gold Coast'smost southern beachside neighborhood, Coolangatta.
Just a five minute drive from the Gold Coast'sinternational airport, Coolangatta is the regions gateway for mostinternational and interstate visitors.
With its shady parks, sheltered beaches andriver, Coolangatta is a popular choice for families.
And when the conditions are right, it producessome of the most spectacular surf in Australia.
The Gold Coast offers plenty of thrills besidesits fabulous coastline, it's the theme park capital of Australia.
Spend a day riding the waves and waterslidesat Wet 'n' Wild.
Just up the road, cool off and ride the tubesat Dreamworld's White Water World.
Dreamworld is Australia's largest theme park.
It features over 40 rides for all ages, andthemed lands like Tiger Island.
Experience Hollywood on the Gold Coast, atWarner Brothers Movie World.
Strap yourself in and take off, on some ofthe best roller-coasters Downunder.
Then buckle up, for The Hollywood Stunt Drivershow.
Next door, at the Australian Outback Spectacular, saddle-up to a three course meal as some ofthe country's best horsemen and women celebrate the spirit of the bush.
At Sea World, celebrate the spirit of theocean with some of the sea's most endearing creatures, and a few of the less cuddly ones too.
There's also plenty of rides to explore betweenthe shows.
If you're feeling the need to settle the nervesafter all those theme parks, head to the hills.
Just a 30 minute drive inland and perchedhigh on the rim of an ancient volcano, is Mount Tamborine.
Explore the rainforest trails and skywalk, before sampling the local produce and winesat Tamborine Village.
A little further South, is Springbrook, aworld heritage listed national park filled with ancient forests, secret places,and waterfalls that have been flowing since the dawn of time.
From up here, high on the escarpment, theGold Coast beckons, back to the sand, back to the rides, and back to the spirit of Australia's brightestvacation destination.